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Energy Stocks Adding to Losses; Cheniere Energy Pares Decline After Inking New Supply Deal With Spanish Utility

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Energy stocks extended their losses this afternoon with the NYSE Energy Sector Index sinking about 1.0% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down nearly 1.4% as a group. Crude oil for May delivery settled 70 cents lower at $100.44 per barrel while May natural gas rose 4 cents to finish at $4.48 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Cheniere Energy ( LNG ) shares retreated Monday, receiving no apparent help from the liquefied natural gas company lining up additional sales for its LNG export facility now under construction near Corpus Christi, Texas.

The deal with Endesa SA calls on LNG to supply the Spanish electric utility with another 750,000 tons of liquified natural gas yearly, with the purchase price tied to monthly natural gas price prices at the Henry hub in Louisiana plus a fixed component.

The companies previously inked a similar deal for 1.5 tons of LNG per year. The new contract runs for 20 years once commercial shipping from the facility begins, with options adding up to 10 years to the original pact. LNG expects the 13.5-million-ton shipping terminal could be operational by 2018.

LNG shares were down 0.7% at $54.43 each in late afternoon trading, bouncing back from a 7% decline to $50.91 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $24.27 to $59.25 a share, establishing its all-time high last Wednesday, April 2.

In other sector news,

(+) BTU, Extending gains from Friday's session that followed Cowen & Co. upgrading the miner to Outperform from Market Perform, saying it should outlast current low prices for metallurgical coal. Price target was lifted by $1 to $20 a share.

(-) RDC, Downgrade to Underweight from Equalweight at Morgan Stanley, citing risks to the jackup market and questions about the company's ability to execute. The research shop also set a price target of $33 a share.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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